FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Dozens of solar panels and a 100-foot-tall wind turbine will help the Maharishi University of Management's sustainable living center in Fairfield be among the state's most efficient buildings.
At a dedication ceremony Friday, university officials showed off a building that also makes use of technology such as a heat pump, geothermal tubing and careful placement of windows to maximize the use of daylight.
Maharishi University Executive Vice President Craig Pearson expressed hope that the center would help other builders learn about sustainable options and build more environmentally friendly structures.
Lonnie Gamble, the professor and curriculum director for the sustainable living program, said the building will help him teach students about the possibilities of efficient buildings.
"Being in here means that instead of saying 'Here are the principles to build by' — then apologizing for the building we're in — I can show them what I'm talking about," Gamble said.
When the solar panels and turbine produce more power than the building needs, the energy will be sent to the campus grid and used for other buildings.
Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, who also is a Maharishi University board member, said students who learn about sustainable structures in the center will later create similar buildings throughout the world.
The school also intends to add a rainwater harvesting system to provide water, and will handle sewage in an on-site facility.
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